If you believe that live escape games are solely the preserve of big cities, think again. You can also experience all the fun of being locked in a confined space with only your wits to free you in the countryside – and Containment in Merrist Wood College, near Guildford, is a great place to do just that.
As you may have guessed from the name, Containment’s games are based in old shipping containers, which are a lot bigger inside that you might imagine. The site offers two games/containers to choose from: the Bomb, and the Vault, with a further option due to be introduced late this year. If you can’t make it to Surrey, the team can even put these containers on a lorry and bring the experience to you.
The essential aim in either game is for your group to escape the series of rooms set up within the container in under an hour – and even though it’s only for fun, you’d have to be made of stone not to feel the pressure mounting as the timer counts down.
Our group chose to tackle the Vault, a game wherein the task to crack into a safe – hidden behind a series of locked doors, and escape with the treasure. We can’t give away the details, as that would spoil the fun for everyone else, but we can report that the container is stuffed with challenging puzzles that require both logic and practical skills to solve.
What we didn’t expect was that there would also be red herrings, and it’s very easy to get fixated on puzzles that are completely unproductive – meaning that team work and a calm attitude are vital if you want to win. Fortunately, every team is also given a radio that enables them to contact the outside world for clues: you are allotted a fixed amount of these, and it’s well worth using them! The radio also allowed us to beg for help when we accidentally rendered one of the puzzles unsolvable. The moral of that story is that you should always read everything carefully!
Overall the experience was hectic, challenging and brilliant fun. Our enjoyment, and our ability to escape, was greatly augmented by site manager Toby, whose helpfulness, kindness and occasional wry quips were just as memorable as the game itself.
Containment is based at Merrist Wood College, Worplesdon. A game for up to 6 people is £120, and lasts one hour. The Rural Voice attended Containment anonymously and paid for the experience in full.